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October 12, 2006 Blumberg to serve on US EPA Science Advisory Board
Professor Alan Blumberg, Director of Stevens Institute of Technology's Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering, has been invited to serve as a member of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board.
Congress established the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) in 1978 and gave it a broad mandate to advise the Agency on technical matters. The Board's principal mission includes reviewing the quality and relevance of the scientific and technical information being used or proposed as the basis for Agency regulations and advising the Agency on broad scientific matters in science, technology, social and economic issues.
Increasingly, the EPA has placed a premium on basing its regulations on a solid scientific foundation. Consequently, over the past 16 years the SAB has assumed growing importance and stature.
It is now formal practice that many major scientific points associated with environmental problems are reviewed by the SAB. The SAB conducts its business in public view and benefits from public input during its deliberations. The Science Advisory Board is characterized by inclusion of individuals who possess the necessary domains of knowledge, the relevant scientific perspectives and the collective breadth of experience to adequately address the charge. Public responses to the nomination of each individual have been considered in the selection of the members.
Professor Blumberg has been assigned to serve on an SAB expert panel to conduct an evaluation of the complex scientific and technical issues that affect the causes, location, magnitude and duration of the hypoxic zone in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. This hypoxic zone is a very large area along the Louisiana-Texas coast in which water near the bottom of the Gulf contains less than 2 parts per million of dissolved oxygen.
Hypoxia can cause fish to leave the area and can cause stress or death to bottom dwelling organisms that can't move out of the hypoxic zone. Over the next year this panel will develop a report that updates the state-of-the-science for the hypoxic zone. The Panel report will be considered by EPA and its State, Tribal, and Federal partners on the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force.